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Old 08-23-2020, 03:23 PM   #1
Bat_Orchid90
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Default I feel guilty but I also dont..

I have half siblings but i donít associate with them at all, they are very young. As I dont speak to my dad anymore. My grandmother insisted that i ď dont let them grow up not knowing who you areĒ. But i feel like itís not all on me... i dont speak to him or his gf. Heís only ever invited me to maybe 2 birthdays and maybe 2 cookouts but itís for show. Never asks about work, school, how Iím doing in general, but insists i contact him on fatherís day , on his birthday, on his kids bdays. Yet he forgot about mine and i havent had any real relationship with him in 8yrs. Heíll lie to family members about why i dont come around. He Never wants to go for lunch. Never just sit and talked. I dont even get a phonecall... and as much as people would like to say ďit goes both waysĒ , he has continuously screwed me over my whole life and though i tried keeping in contact despite all hes put me through, he still acts like i dont exist. So now im done reaching out first. Especially when there has been no closure for past issues. So i feel bad those kids probably hear all kinds of lies about me... and unfortunately for my grandmother they probably wont know me until theyíre adults... and it broke our family apart because now i wont go to any holiday parties, birthdays , cookouts, etc. im basically the black sheep of the family i was once very close to. I only speak to a handful of family members but even they dont quite get it...
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Old 08-23-2020, 05:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: I feel guilty but I also dont..

Dear pandabear0927,

My heart goes out to you.

Everyone's situation has so many unique elements that I never feel like I am qualified to give advice. What follows is NOT advice but just sharing my own situation.

I basically built a wall between my father and myself for my own protection and sanity. He had many of the negative traits you describe in your post and some others. I had hateful feelings towards him until my depression and anxiety became manageable. I also blamed him for causing these illnesses in me. My feelings ran so strong that I refused to visit him when he was on his death bed in a nursing home.

These days I have some regrets about all this. I suspect now though I have no proof that my father suffered mental illness, [depression and OCD]. Males sometimes manifest these illnesses in nasty ways supposedly because depression is not a very macho thing. I read somewhere that they turn their self-hate outward to find relief from the pain.

My father had unrealistic expectations about what a son should be. I don't know, but sometimes I feel I had some unrealistic expectations about what a father should be. A lot of misery is caused by expectations. Expectations are burdens we place on others. We always hope they are just burdens and reasonable. Sometimes the mentally ill cannot meet these expectations and burdens. Their illness in a way poisons and reduces, not their free will but perhaps the full extent of their free will. It clouds their judgement and impedes their choices.

I am not trying to explain away anything or whitewash bad behavior.

There is a difference between the exercise of free will and the "full" exercise of free will. We can will things without willing them fully. I don't think it is the case that people at every moment of their lives will things with all their hearts, minds, power and strength. People can often find themselves in situations where they do not fully deliberate before acting. People can find themselves with limited knowledge and awareness and not even be aware of it. They can be blinded by prejudices. Often people live on the very surface of life and don't spend much time in introspection.

One of the best things that happens to people is when insights occur. Sadly insight has its own timetable and does not come when we want it or when we need it most. Often it comes after the fact or not at all.

The full exercise of freedom can often be impeded by strong emotions and habits.

Have you heard the expression "conflicting emotions." It refers to when a person is divided and conflicted. There is a little story that illustrates it. A captain in need of money takes on a precious cargo and passengers. The cargo is what really pays because it is precious. A storm comes and the captain becomes torn by conflicting emotions. He decides that in order to save the passengers he must throw the cargo overboard. Does he wish to do this? Only in part. Part of him does not want to do this because he needs the money so badly. So he wills to save the passengers and reluctantly wills to eject the cargo. This is an example of "conflicting emotions." Moral philosophers often say that conflicting emotions interfere not with free will but with the "full" exercise it.

Another consideration that I think about my father is this. There is bad and then there is bad. A couple of men in the last 100 years caused the destruction of tens of millions of men, women and children through genocidal policies. My father never did anything like this. Whatever bad he did was far, far, far, far, far away from the worst kind of bad action.

My father supported me and occasionally did some wonderful things for me. He once built me a very nice model train. He took my mother and me to the movies. He taught me many things like the appreciation of music. Although my father could be quite cruel he never liked to step on insects or hurt animals. And other things. There were things to appreciate and treasure in my father.

I wish I had done a bit more for my father now that he is gone. I doubt whether I could have done anything really big. I wish I could have done some little things though. A psychologist once told me that it is impossible to "look down" on another person unless one feels higher than that person. I spent many years feeling "higher" than my father and now I am not so sure. I am no saint and have many undesirable and ugly things about me.

At the same time, I don't really beat myself up over how I treated my father. I doubt whether my actions were done with the full force of my freewill, with full deliberation, knowledge, insight and consent. Things are what they are. Your description of your father sounds quite a bit like mine.

Advice though is "whole 'nother story." I would never second-guess you and offer you advice. I have a really bad record when it comes to giving advice. Advice can never take the unexpected into account. A friend of mine once advised an overworked coworker to take a trip to Hawaii. And he did. Unfortunately during one leg of the trip the plane crashed and the man and his whole family were lost. I try to keep that in mind when I am tempted to "suggest" things to others. I am not in your shoes and wouldn't DARE advice you!

You must do as you see fit. I think most people do the best they can at each moment of their lives given everything influencing them.

Finally I would like to say: I could easily be wrong about what I have written here. I am wrong about things often enough that I feel a called to have a little, what would you call it? Intellectual humility. Intellectual humility is called for in my case. Wish I had more of it.

There is an very old saying by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It goes . . . "I find good people to be good and I find bad people to be good, if I am good enough." I wish I had remembered that saying when my father was still alive.

I want wish you only the best in your life journey. I am so terribly, terribly sorry that things are so very far from ideal between you and your father.

Sincerely yours, Yao Wen

Last edited by Yaowen; 08-23-2020 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: I feel guilty but I also dont..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaowen View Post
Dear pandabear0927,

My heart goes out to you.

Everyone's situation has so many unique elements that I never feel like I am qualified to give advice. What follows is NOT advice but just sharing my own situation.

I basically built a wall between my father and myself for my own protection and sanity. He had many of the negative traits you describe in your post and some others. I had hateful feelings towards him until my depression and anxiety became manageable. I also blamed him for causing these illnesses in me. My feelings ran so strong that I refused to visit him when he was on his death bed in a nursing home.

These days I have some regrets about all this. I suspect now though I have no proof that my father suffered mental illness, [depression and OCD]. Males sometimes manifest these illnesses in nasty ways supposedly because depression is not a very macho thing. I read somewhere that they turn their self-hate outward to find relief from the pain.

My father had unrealistic expectations about what a son should be. I don't know, but sometimes I feel I had some unrealistic expectations about what a father should be. A lot of misery is caused by expectations. Expectations are burdens we place on others. We always hope they are just burdens and reasonable. Sometimes the mentally ill cannot meet these expectations and burdens. Their illness in a way poisons and reduces, not their free will but perhaps the full extent of their free will. It clouds their judgement and impedes their choices.

I am not trying to explain away anything or whitewash bad behavior.

There is a difference between the exercise of free will and the "full" exercise of free will. We can will things without willing them fully. I don't think it is the case that people at every moment of their lives will things with all their hearts, minds, power and strength. People can often find themselves in situations where they do not fully deliberate before acting. People can find themselves with limited knowledge and awareness and not even be aware of it. They can be blinded by prejudices. Often people live on the very surface of life and don't spend much time in introspection.

One of the best things that happens to people is when insights occur. Sadly insight has its own timetable and does not come when we want it or when we need it most. Often it comes after the fact or not at all.

The full exercise of freedom can often be impeded by strong emotions and habits.

Have you heard the expression "conflicting emotions." It refers to when a person is divided and conflicted. There is a little story that illustrates it. A captain in need of money takes on a precious cargo and passengers. The cargo is what really pays because it is precious. A storm comes and the captain becomes torn by conflicting emotions. He decides that in order to save the passengers he must throw the cargo overboard. Does he wish to do this? Only in part. Part of him does not want to do this because he needs the money so badly. So he wills to save the passengers and reluctantly wills to eject the cargo. This is an example of "conflicting emotions." Moral philosophers often say that conflicting emotions interfere not with free will but with the "full" exercise it.

Another consideration that I think about my father is this. There is bad and then there is bad. A couple of men in the last 100 years caused the destruction of tens of millions of men, women and children through genocidal policies. My father never did anything like this. Whatever bad he did was far, far, far, far, far away from the worst kind of bad action.

My father supported me and occasionally did some wonderful things for me. He once built me a very nice model train. He took my mother and me to the movies. He taught me many things like the appreciation of music. Although my father could be quite cruel he never liked to step on insects or hurt animals. And other things. There were things to appreciate and treasure in my father.

I wish I had done a bit more for my father now that he is gone. I doubt whether I could have done anything really big. I wish I could have done some little things though. A psychologist once told me that it is impossible to "look down" on another person unless one feels higher than that person. I spent many years feeling "higher" than my father and now I am not so sure. I am no saint and have many undesirable and ugly things about me.

At the same time, I don't really beat myself up over how I treated my father. I doubt whether my actions were done with the full force of my freewill, with full deliberation, knowledge, insight and consent. Things are what they are. Your description of your father sounds quite a bit like mine.

Advice though is "whole 'nother story." I would never second-guess you and offer you advice. I have a really bad record when it comes to giving advice. Advice can never take the unexpected into account. A friend of mine once advised an overworked coworker to take a trip to Hawaii. And he did. Unfortunately during one leg of the trip the plane crashed and the man and his whole family were lost. I try to keep that in mind when I am tempted to "suggest" things to others. I am not in your shoes and wouldn't DARE advice you!

You must do as you see fit. I think most people do the best they can at each moment of their lives given everything influencing them.

Finally I would like to say: I could easily be wrong about what I have written here. I am wrong about things often enough that I feel a called to have a little, what would you call it? Intellectual humility. Intellectual humility is called for in my case. Wish I had more of it.

There is an very old saying by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It goes . . . "I find good people to be good and I find bad people to be good, if I am good enough." I wish I had remembered that saying when my father was still alive.

I want wish you only the best in your life journey. I am so terribly, terribly sorry that things are so very far from ideal between you and your father.

Sincerely yours, Yao Wen

Thank you! I really appreciate your comment. And yes there a lot of things that you have mentioned that I take into consideration as well. And i think thatís what makes it so difficult to feel any type of way is because Iíve weighed these options. He has done some of the bad things that youíve mentioned, and while youíre right people may have conflicting emotions that push them to do something they dont want to, youre also right that there is free will. A lot of the decisions my father has made are not just mistakes. Letís face it, we all make them. Sometimes small and sometimes big. The issue is when you continue to repeat the behavior. Once is a mistake, you learn and you grow, twice, three times, several is a habit. THAT is what I donít forgive. ESPECIALLY when there was never any sincere apology or acknowledgement of my pain. And i may never get that! And i am at peace with never getting that. I do think my father has issues he needs to work on and i dont think i could ever have a relationship with him unless he sought out professional help, but at the same time I cant be around someone who just resents me because of someone else. Often times if he was criticizing me it was because of my mother. I tried to not take it personally but growing up it still hurt. As an adult Iíve more or less accepted thats how he is and he needs to start taking responsibility for his own actions and I dont think he ever has. It was my mothers fault he never had money, not that he was stuck in the same dead end job all his life. Its his dads fault he doesnt know how to express himself or has these irrational fears, not his own for not seeking help or wanting to be a better father. It was my fault he was unhappy, not that hes just selfish... its always someone else. And thats what i got tired of hearing. Itís always someone else including myselfs fault why hes so miserable, why hes not in the job he wants, living in the house he wants, living the life he wants and i was tired of being his lightening rod for chaos. But again, at this point i know heíll never change. I knew that a long time ago. So right now itís just sad about those kids who are being poisoned by the lies and the bull that him and his gf are feeding them. Theyre settling for a mediocre life and then teaching all 3 kids that itís the rest of the world that put them there. Itís sad. Itís disgusting... but what can you do ? Nothing but watch i guess... you cant change people... but itd be nice if some of my family would allow me the chance to speak instead of siding with him.. i feel like the day will come, when those kids are grown. If they come looking for me. I have no issue sitting down and really talking to them. But so long as theyre there. I cant have a relationship with any of them.... just that the more time goes by, the more awkward it becomes.
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: I feel guilty but I also dont..

I can see how painful this is. Sometimes severing ties and contact is the only way to protect yourself. Honestly I'd not worry about what the younger siblings think, hear or feel about you. You cant make them know you or understand you, you have to wait until they are older I think. But your father clearly has other things in mind. Hopefully this isnt a forever thing but for right now it may help to accept it as if it was.
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: I feel guilty but I also dont..

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I can see how painful this is. Sometimes severing ties and contact is the only way to protect yourself. Honestly I'd not worry about what the younger siblings think, hear or feel about you. You cant make them know you or understand you, you have to wait until they are older I think. But your father clearly has other things in mind. Hopefully this isnt a forever thing but for right now it may help to accept it as if it was.

Very true. :/ unfortunately thatís kind of how itís been. Ive stopped reaching out to him quite some time ago.
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Old 09-06-2020, 05:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: I feel guilty but I also dont..

I can relate as I am in a similar situation with my dad also. This may sound harsh, but if he wanted to have a relationship with you he would reach out as you have. And right now it doesn't seem like that is his priority. This is incredibly painful and I hope you are reaching out to someone to talk about how not having a relationship with your dad makes you feel. Please be gentle with yourself.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:50 AM   #7
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I can relate as I am in a similar situation with my dad also. This may sound harsh, but if he wanted to have a relationship with you he would reach out as you have. And right now it doesn't seem like that is his priority. This is incredibly painful and I hope you are reaching out to someone to talk about how not having a relationship with your dad makes you feel. Please be gentle with yourself.

Yes, unfortunately I have realized that quite some time ago, but its still both a numbing yet occasionally upsetting thought I am sorry youíre in this situation as well.
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Old 09-07-2020, 04:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: I feel guilty but I also dont..

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Yes, unfortunately I have realized that quite some time ago, but its still both a numbing yet occasionally upsetting thought I am sorry youíre in this situation as well.
Same here, including younger half-sibs who I've never even met, lol. I came to that same realization years ago. I have reached out and even directly asked what I had done to make him not want to talk to me or be around me ever. His response was pretty harsh (basically it was that he had more important things to worry about) but it was an eye-opener, and helped me break loose of the need to try to reach out. Ah, the pain parents can cause their kids - and the pain kids can cause their parents.
I figure that all I can do is accept how other people are, that they are that way and it's not my fault... All we can do as humans is live our lives the way we choose to live them & strive for peace/happiness/whatever our goals are.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: I feel guilty but I also dont..

Boy can I relate. I'm also my family's black sheep. I also grew up emotionally neglected by my father and my mother, and my siblings and I do not have healthy relationships with each other as adults.

I am estranged from my entire family and occasionally get texts from one sibling about their children.

It used to make me sad, thinking about the lies being told about me behind my back. But, once I accepted that there is literally nothing I can do to change these people's choices, then, I learned to let go of the worry and anxiety of the fallout associated with their slander and gossip about me, on my nieces and nephews.

My nieces and nephews will have the choice to contact me when they grow up and I will be open to their contact.

My advice to you, OP, is to reward yourself for having good boundaries. You have decided to take your power back from your father, by refusing to reach out with your olive branches of lunches etc.

I commend you on that decision. There are many of us in your shoes -- adults estranged from toxic family members. I cope by reading blogs and articles online about family estrangement.

Have you sought out any good books or articles on family estrangement? Also, YouTube has a ton of content on how to cope with dysfunctional family systems when you're the black sheep.

Let's face it. We black sheep are the result of family triangulation; basically, they need to label someone the "bad" one, to keep the dysfunctional family system intact. If they have a target, they can blame that one person for everyone else's problems.

The only way to get away from that role, is to reject it. And for me to get rid of my black sheep role; I chose estrangement. It's allowed me to love myself and be proud of myself without my family's projections and blame and shame on me as their target.

It forces them to turn on each other, and gives me the emotional freedom that I deserve. Am I lonely? Yes. But, my loneliness is the price I pay to have a healthy sense of self. If I stay in contact with my toxic family system, I will never be free of their projections, lies, blame, and shame.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:39 PM   #10
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Here's a great blog: 6 Sad Reasons Why A Family Creates A Black Sheep | Dr. Jonice Webb

Quote:
Three Signs That Your Family Has a Black Sheep:

One member often, over a long period of time, seems hurt or angry for no apparent reason.

One person is often, and on a long-term basis, talked about negatively behind his back. ďHeís so annoying,Ē ďWhat a weirdo/disappointment/loser/fill in the blank.Ē

One member is subtly not invited to certain family occasions or left out of the loop on family news.


So if most black sheep arenít actually weirdos who brought their exclusion upon themselves, what would cause a family to treat one of their own this way? The real cause does not lie within any individual family member. No. Instead itís a product of family dynamics.

Here are the sources that I see most often.

The Six Top Family Dynamics Which Result in a Black Sheep:

1) The child who has the least in common with the parents. This child sticks out because of his personality, temperament or interests. The parents are baffled by him and inadvertently treat him differently, which spreads to the siblings.

2) The best and the brightest. This child threatens to outperform or outshine one or both of the parents. Either consciously or unconsciously, the parents sabotage her to hold her back. This way, they wonít lose her and they wonít have to feel badly about themselves in comparison to her.

3) The child most prone to depression or anxiety. The child with intense or dark feelings or thoughts which the parents cannot understand may frighten them. At a loss about how to help, they may just keep him at a distance.

4) Sibling rivalry. In this family, there is simply not enough attention or love to go around.

5) One or both of the parents is limited in some way; by mental illness, personality disorder, or substance abuse for example. The siblings must jockey for whatever they can get.

6) A parent who despises himself deep down. This parent can appear to be quite loving of her children, so she can be difficult to spot. But she is unable to tolerate certain aspects of herself, so she projects those traits onto a chosen child, and despises him instead. It is an unconscious coping mechanism that happens outside of the parentís awareness.

Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN): the child who is the most invisible. In this family, all of the children may get the subtle (or not-so-subtle) message that their feelings donít matter. But one is better at hiding his own needs, feelings, and self than the others. This child literally disappears from the familyís radar screen and is ignored. He becomes persona non grata. He is the one who matters the least.

With any of the six causes above, the excluded or targeted child senses early on that he must be different, bad or inferior. In a case of self-fulfilling prophecy, he learns to play his role in the family. Often, he plays it very well.
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